Sunday, October 08, 2006

Something I Won't Forget...

Some may question about the evidence of God. That's completely understandable. With things that happen in the world... bad things sometimes happen to good people. We have a showcase tournament that the Cherokee had to play in this weekend up in Detroit. Four games in four days. We got stomped big time by St. Louis on Friday night 5-0... Scored a come from behind 5-4 win over Chicago. And took one in the shorts on Sunday as Dubuque smoked us 9-5... We still have to play Grand Rapids on Monday afternoon at about 5pm ET... But for me... none of that mattered so much as the charity event that took place on Saturday night. I was sitting out in the lobby of the arena, watching the Tigers clinch the ALDS against the Yankees. I about crapped myself. I was so jacked to see that. it's only been 19 years since the Tigers were in the League Championship Series. Anyway, I was getting ready to head home for a night of wine, woman, and song when I was asked to help broadcast a charity hockey game that featured all the players that were in wheelchairs. And most of these players had very little mobility and use of their extremeties. As they were out on the ice, they were being pushed by a host of former hockey players. Some famous, some not quite as famous but it didn't really matter. The players in the wheelchairs were the stars as they battled heartily and it was neat to see former Detroit Red Wing Vladimir Konstantinov who dropped the ceremonial opening face-off to get things started. Vladdy was seriously injured in a limousine less than two weeks after the Wings won the Stanley Cup back in 1997. The limo driver who was driving Konstantinov, team massusse Sergei Mnatsakonov, and defenseman Slava Fetisov, fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree. Vladdy and Sergei were the only two who were severely injured. Fetisov was fine. Sergei was left in a wheel chair but is able to remember most everything. Vladdy spent a number of years in a wheelchair and can't remember alot. But he showed up in the arena using a walker with wheels on it. He still has great difficulty with balance and co-ordination. But he brought the crowd to it's feet in a wonderful display of love and emotion for the guy we all knew back in the 90's as 'The Vladinator'... I was stunned to see him in an improved condition. I don't think he'll ever be the well enough to walk without a walker or anything, but it was still moving to see him make it out for this event. And then there were the wheelchair players. Some could not really move their arms and legs but it didn't matter. With the guys that were pushing the chairs around the ice, everyone had an absolute ball. After the game, the people in the stands gave the wheelchair players a rousing standing ovation. I watched in silence as the wheelchair players were all smiles and had huge grins on their faces as they posed for pictures and thanked the guys that pushed their chairs around the ice. But I can guarantee you that to a person, the guys pushing the wheelchair players were more in awe of the players much more than the wheelchair players (guys and girls) were awestruck... As someone who watched the event and also helped broadcast it, I was blown away by these folks and really had a new appreciation for just how blessed I really am.... Even when I'm hurting and things aren't going my way... I was truly moved and realized that the issues that I have to face are absolutely nothing in comparison to what these people deal with day to day... I was truly humbled...

2 comments:

Riccie said...

Very touching, Mik...

Jackson said...

welp.............all I got to say is yeah mik :)

hey, I am moving to myspace for a bit. Come visit me http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=117968834